Overnight Energy: Trump rejects 'man-made' climate change | UN report finds countries falling short on climate goals | Trump threatens to cut GM electric car subsidies | Transcanada pushes to resume Keystone XL work

Overnight Energy: Trump rejects 'man-made' climate change | UN report finds countries falling short on climate goals | Trump threatens to cut GM electric car subsidies | Transcanada pushes to resume Keystone XL work
© Greg Nash

TRUMP REJECTS CLIMATE REPORT: President TrumpDonald TrumpMyPillow CEO to pull ads from Fox News Haaland, Native American leaders press for Indigenous land protections Simone Biles, Vince Lombardi and the courage to walk away MORE and members of his administration on Tuesday denied the findings of a national climate report compiled by multiple U.S. agencies. Trump rejected the entire premise of "man made" climate change, while White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders and Interior Secretary Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeWant to evaluate Donald Trump's judgment? Listen to Donald Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Biden launches blitz for jobs plan with 'thank you, Georgia' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Court sets in motion EPA ban on pesticide linked to developmental issues | Trump Interior Secretary Zinke files to run for Congress, again | Senate passes bipartisan B water infrastructure bill MORE both denounced the report's findings as extreme. The report warned of the dire consequences stemming from climate change on the U.S. Here's the recap:

 

Trump disputes 'man made' climate change

President Trump on Tuesday disputed the scientific consensus that human activity contributes to climate change in his most expansive rejection yet of his own administration's report on global warming. 

In an interview with The Washington Post, Trump said "I don't see" that climate change is man-made and disagreed with the report's findings that it poses significant health and safety concerns. 

"One of the problems that a lot of people like myself, we have very high levels of intelligence but we're not necessarily such believers," Trump said. "You look at our air and our water and it's right now at a record clean."

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On the issue of whether global warming is caused by humans, Trump added: "As to whether or not it's man-made and whether or not the effects that you're talking about are there, I don't see it -- not nearly like it is."

More on the president's remarks here.

 

Sanders: Report not 'based on facts'

Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Tuesday dismissed the findings of a government report that warned of the impending consequences of climate change, claiming it's "not based on facts."

"The president's certainly leading on what matters most in this process, and that's on having clean air, clean water," Sanders told reporters at a press briefing. "In fact, the United States continues to be a leader on that front."

Sanders disputed the report's findings, claiming it's "not based on facts" and arguing that modeling the climate "is never exact." She did not indicate that Trump would call on world leaders at this week's Group of 20 summit to address the report's findings.

"We think that this is the most extreme version and it's not based on facts," she said. "It's not data driven. We'd like to see something that is more data driven. It's based on modeling, which is extremely hard to do when you're talking about the climate."

More on her remarks here.

 

Zinke: Report took "worst case scenarios"

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Tuesday cast doubt on the methodology of the federal government's major climate change report released last week.

Zinke accused the authors -- about 300 scientists from 13 agencies, like the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and outside the government -- of using only worst-case scenarios in the report, which concluded, among other things, that climate change could cost the United States economy billions of dollars annually by 2100.

"We're looking at the report. And there's some concern within the USGS ... that's our nation's top scientific body," he said on KCRA, an NBC affiliate in Sacramento, Calif.

"It appears they took the worst scenarios and they built predictions on that," he said. "It should be more probability, but we're looking at it."

Read more on Zinke here.

 

More on the report:

The report was developed by multiple federal agencies. A version of it is mandated to be released every four years under the National Climate Assessment from the multiagency Global Change Research Program.

The hundreds of government and external scientists involved in the research concluded that climate change could cost the United States billions of dollars annually within decades if greenhouse gases aren't dramatically reduced, and could worsen environmental disasters like wildfires and flooding. Its findings aligned with those of the broader scientific community.

At least one key researcher involved in the extensive process of preparing the findings has pushed back on the notion that it only presents an extreme picture.

"I wrote the climate scenarios chapter myself so I can confirm it considers ALL scenarios, from those where we go carbon negative before end of century to those where carbon emissions continue to rise. What WH says is demonstrably false," Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist at Texas Tech University, tweeted Friday.

 

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TRUMP THREATENS TO CUT FEDERAL INCENTIVES FOR GM'S ELECTRIC CARS:

Trump on Tuesday threatened to end General Motor's federal tax credit for electric vehicles in retaliation for the company's planned layoffs.

Trump tweeted that he is "very disappointed" with the company's plans to close up to five manufacturing plants -- four of them in the United States, one in Canada -- and lay off about 15 percent of its workforce.

"We are now looking at cutting all @GM subsidies, including … for electric cars," he wrote.

GM's share price fell on the New York Stock Exchange in the minutes after Trump's tweet, reaching as low as 3.8 percent below Monday's closing price.

In a statement on Tuesday afternoon, the automaker said it appreciates "the actions this administration has taken on behalf of industry to improve the overall competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing" and that "many of the U.S. workers impacted" by Monday's layoff announcement "will have the opportunity to shift to other GM plants."

"GM is committed to maintaining a strong manufacturing presence in the U.S., as evidenced by our more than $22 billion investments in U.S. operations since 2009. Yesterday's announcements support our ability to invest for future growth and position the company for long-term success and maintain and grow American jobs," the company said.

Trump has blasted GM and its CEO, Mary Barra, since the Monday morning layoff announcements and has pledged to take action to prevent the job losses.

 

What we don't know:

It's unclear what other subsidies might be targeted by Trump, whether he would focus only on GM or end the tax credit altogether. Ending the subsidy would require Congress to pass a new law.

The federal government provides a $7,500 tax break to U.S. consumers who buy electric vehicles. Two GM vehicles qualify for the incentive: the all-electric Chevrolet Bolt and the plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt.

Larry Kudlow, Trump's top economic adviser, on Tuesday also mentioned potentially targeting the electric vehicle credit.

"We are going to be looking at certain subsidies regarding electric cars and others, whether they should apply or not. I can't say anything final about that, but we're looking into it," Kudlow told reporters in a White House briefing before Trump's tweet.

Read more here.

 

NEW UN REPORT FINDS COUNTRIES FALLING SHORT OF HITTING CLIMATE GOALS: A new United Nations climate report is offering no reprieve from the recent deluge of reports warning about the globe's warming temperatures, saying that "urgent action is required by all nations."

The latest report, released Tuesday by the U.N. as part of its annual Environment Emissions Gap Report, warns that many nations' current attempts to cut emissions are falling woefully short of the goal set out in the Paris climate agreement.

Current emission targets for every country would result in a global average temperature rise of 3.2 degrees Celsius by 2100, the report found. That's a significant miss from the original goal to keep temperature increases well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

"Current commitments expressed in the NDC [Nationally Determined Contributions] are inadequate to bridge the emissions gap in 2030. Technically, it is still possible to bridge the gap to ensure global warming stays well below 2°C and 1.5°C, but if NDC ambitions are not increased before 2030, exceeding the 1.5°C goal can no longer be avoided," the report read. "Now more than ever, unprecedented and urgent action is required by all nations."

 

The big picture: The U.N. report mirrors a handful of other reports released in the past two months warning of the life-threatening consequences of continued greenhouse gas emissions and failure by countries to decrease carbon levels in the atmosphere.

In October, a report by the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change urged that the effects of climate change would be irreversible if not addressed and that the world had 12 years to keep temperatures to 1.5 degrees of warming. The report explained, that surpassing the 1.5-degree mark could have dramatic effects including worsening drought, flooding, heat waves and depletion of coral reefs and glaciers.

The U.N.'s most recent report highlights that countries still have a long way to go in order to meet the necessary emissions cuts by that deadline.

Read more here.

 

TRANSCANADA WANTS TO RESUME KEYSTONE WORK: Keystone XL developer TransCanada Corp. is asking a federal judge to let it resume preliminary work on the pipeline.

TransCanada spokesman Terry Cunha said the company stopped all work following a Montana federal judge's ruling against the project in the United States earlier this month, including clearing the right-of-way, meeting with stakeholders and physically moving supplies and equipment.

The company is asking the judge to let it restart that work, despite the ruling.

"The current injunction is having a direct and immediate threat to maintaining almost 700 U.S. jobs and other positions created to support the preconstruction activities for this project," Cunha said in a statement about the 1,180-mile, Canada-to-Texas pipeline.

"Several of these activities are required for the prudent, safe, and environmentally sound construction of the project."

 

ON TAP WEDNESDAY:

The Senate's Environment and Public Works committee will meet to discuss surface transportation and infrastructure needs.

 

OUTSIDE THE BELTWAY:

Companies launch plan to capture methane from hog manure lagoons

Poland names coal companies as partners for COP24 climate talks

French president rejects breakup of nation's largest utility

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Check out Tuesday's stories ...

-Trump rejects 'man-made' climate change

-DC lawmakers vote for 100 percent clean power by 2032

-Sarah Sanders: Climate change report 'not based on facts'

-Trump threatens to cut federal incentives for GM's electric cars

-Gore announces celebrity guests for 24-hour climate special

-Zinke questions methodology of federal climate report

-New UN report finds countries falling short of hitting international climate goals

-Senate panel advances Trump's energy nominee despite Dem objections

-Supreme Court gives landowners another chance in fight over critical habitat for tiny frog

-'Fox & Friends' discussed script, asked pre-interview questions to Trump EPA chief: report